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Don't Make These 2 Common Mistakes with Your Thyroid!

Did you know...?

Thyroid medications are among the top 10 medications prescribed each year.

Thyroid disorders are now more common now than ever before!

Common Thyroid Problems Explained

The thyroid is an endocrine gland found in the neck. As an endocrine gland, it plays an important role in the hormonal system along with other endocrine glands such as the pituitary, which is located in the brain, and the ovaries or the testes.

The thyroid produces two hormones, T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine).

  • Most of the thyroid hormone that is active in the body is T4.
  • The thyroid synthesizes thyroid hormones from the mineral iodine and the amino acid tyrosine.


Did you know that thyroid disorders are more common than ever before? The Body Ecology Core Programs can help to support gut health, an essential part of healing for thyroid problems caused by autoimmunity.

TSH is something that doctors often look at when diagnosing a thyroid disorder. TSH, also called thyroid-stimulating hormone, is a signal produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. It sends out the message: “Hey, make more thyroid hormones!” When TSH is elevated, this can indicate a thyroid disorder.

The most common thyroid disorders are:

  • Hypothyroidism, the underproduction of thyroid hormones.
  • Hyperthyroidism, the overproduction of thyroid hormones.
  • Goiter, the enlargement of the thyroid gland.

Several mechanisms play a role in the genesis of thyroid dysfunction. These range from environmental toxins to immune and hormonal imbalances.

There are two common mistakes made in diagnosis and in the treatment of thyroid disorders.

Common Mistake #1: Supplement with Iodine

How many times have we heard that any thyroid disorder can be helped with iodine?

How many of us believe that the only cause of goiter, which is an enlarged thyroid, is iodine deficiency?

Why do so many practitioners in alternative health, such chiropractors, acupuncturists, and naturopaths, suggest iodine for thyroid health?

This is because iodine is important for thyroid function and the production of thyroid hormones. However, most of us in the United States get the iodine that we need to avoid hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid. While high doses of iodine can be useful, such as when working with fibrocystic breasts, taking supplemental iodine can make some cases of hypothyroidism worse1!

In cases of hypothyroidism that are autoimmune, meaning the body’s immune system is attacking its own tissue, supplemental or high dietary iodine can actually cause what is known as a flare-up.

In any autoimmune condition, when a flare-up occurs, tissue destruction is at an all-time high.

The only time you would want to supplement with iodine is if there is a true iodine deficiency, or if you are certain that your hypothyroidism is not autoimmune.

If you have hypothyroidism and you are certain it is not autoimmune hypothyroidism, read on...

Common Mistake #2: Thyroid Hormone Replacement Can Fix Hypothyroidism

When doctors diagnose hypothyroidism, they see that thyroid hormones are low and that TSH is high.

In cases of non-autoimmune and autoimmune hypothyroidism, hormones replacement may be necessary. But if you have an immune disorder, like autoimmunity, wouldn’t you also want to treat that as well?

The problem is diagnosis.

Doctors often do not run antibody tests when looking at TSH and thyroid hormone levels. Antibodies are what the immune system produces against invaders, a sort of tagging system.

In autoimmune hypothyroidism, there can be antibodies, or tags, that are made against certain enzymes or proteins involved in thyroid hormone production.

  • Running the right antibody tests is a good first step towards the diagnosis autoimmune hypothyroidism.
  • Even if an antibody test comes back negative, this does not exclude autoimmunity. Sometimes, the body is too weak to produce antibodies.
  • Even if your thyroid has been removed, you can still have autoimmune hypothyroidism.
  • Autoimmune hypothyroidism is the leading cause of hypothyroidism in the United States, and it is grossly misdiagnosed.

Why don’t doctors test for thyroid antibodies?

Doctors do not routinely test for thyroid antibodies because low thyroid hormone in the body essentially means the same thing: you need more thyroid hormone.

Once labs come back and verify that the pituitary gland is pumping out extra hormones (TSH) to stimulate the production of more thyroid hormone, then a prescription for Synthroid or Armour is written. Both Synthroid and Armour are thyroid hormone replacement medications.

In order to treat autoimmune hypothyroidism, which is the most common form of hypothyroidism, it is absolutely necessary to address the immune system. If autoimmune hypothyroidism is not fully addressed, the patient never feels better, and the condition will continue to advance.

Whatever form of hypothyroidism you have, it may be in your best interest to take thyroid hormone medication. However, if TSH levels continue to rise, it is time to consider autoimmune hypothyroidism.

In order to support thyroid health in cases of autoimmunity, heal the gut.

Achieving a healthy digestive tract and stable blood sugar levels are both essential when healing an autoimmune hypothyroid condition.

An effective program that supports the healing of autoimmune hypothyroidism will include:

  • Regulation of blood sugar.
  • Gut support and leaky gut repair.
  • Reduction of stress and inflammation.

The seven principles laid out in The Body Ecology Diet give us the tools to do this.

  • When we remove food toxins from the diet, such as sugar, grains, and processed oils, we begin to take the steps that will heal an imbalanced immune response.
  • When we practice harmonious food combination and listen to the messages from our body, we no longer overburden our system with inflammatory agents.

The Core Program, which contains Vitality SuperGreen, InnergyBiotic, Assist Full Spectrum Enzymes, and Stevia Liquid Concentrate, supports the repair of the intestinal wall and the restoration of a robust inner ecology.

When treating the thyroid, ask more questions and, if necessary, go beyond iodine supplementation or thyroid hormone replacement.

What to Remember Most About This Article:

Thyroid disorders are more common than they have ever been before. The most common disorders include hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and goiter. The thyroid can be negatively affected by environmental toxins, an unhealthy immune system, and hormonal imbalances.

When it comes to diagnosing and treating thyroid disorders, there are two big mistakes that are often made:

1. Supplementing with iodine. While iodine is important for thyroid function, most of us get all of the iodine we need to prevent hypothyroidism. The only time that it is necessary to supplement with iodine is if you are suffering from a true iodine deficiency or if you have hypothyroidism that is not autoimmune.

2. Using thyroid hormone replacement to treat hypothyroidism. In some cases, hormone replacement may be necessary, but autoimmune hypothyroidism is often misdiagnosed. It is also the leading cause of hypothyroidism in the US. To treat autoimmune hypothyroidism, the immune system must be addressed, which starts with healing the digestive tract. Removing toxins from the diet can help to heal the immune system and release the toxic burden on your system.

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  1. Kharrazian, Datis. Why Do I Still Have THYROID Symptoms? New York: Morgan James, 2010.

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  • Bluesky

    One of the symptoms of adrenal problems is hypothyroid. It's called high cortisol low DHEA. Anyone diagnosed hypothyroid needs adrenal testing.

  • Mindy

    I came here for some answers.

    Why is it that not one person's comments are responded to by Body Ecology staff? Why even have comments if you cannot do so?

    The helpful thing, in my opinion, about having this comments forum is that many folks will ask the same questions that I have and really need answers to, however when you guys don't answer them, this forum becomes somewhat useless to it's readers.

    Please consider this.

    Thank you.

  • Darlene

    Did I miss something? It says to find out about non autoimmune hypothyroidism yet, it kept talking about autoimmune. If its non autoimmune, will gluten free make a difference and should I be taking iodine?

  • Jayne

    I noticed in your Vitality SuperGreen product, one ingredient is fermented soy lecithin. It is my understanding that soy and soy products deplete the thyroid.?

  • Helen

    I had a thyroid ultrasound and they said my thyroid was badly diseased. I have been on levoxyl for 17 years now and they said my thyroid is burnt out and is not responding to meds anymore. I go back to the endo next week in hopes for some solutions. By the way I am 36 years of age I have had hypothyroidism since I was 19.

  • Ali

    It seems that some people who are iodine deficient may experience a period of 'adjustment' when they start taking it, as it can help the body go through a fairly intense period of detox, that can be interpreted as illness. Rashes, 'flu-type symptoms, headaches, etc., etc., are common. As the body starts to work more efficiently it will produce responses that may seem somewhat alarming. The best way to deal with that is to start with the smallest dose and gradually increase.

    I have found when taking supplementation, that the elements my body is most deficient in often produce the strongest or most intense responses. Increasing slowly and gently usually keeps those responses more muted.

    Iodine is a cleansing and anti microbial agent. It does the same job in the body. Helping the body remove years of accumulated debris is no easy task....

  • Lisa

    I have developed really bad arthritis in my neck, shoulders, back, hips and knees. (I am 55 and active female). Tennis, gym etc. I went to the rheumatologist to see what was going on and he ordered an ultrasound of my thyroid. Turns out I was only born with half of one, and I have nodules on that half. Went to an Endocrinologist, blood work showed TSH and T4 at normal levels. T3 was not tested. He just said come back in a year and get retested. Shouldn't I have had more comprehensive tests? And if so which ones... I have wrist tendinitis and plantar fasciitis too! Not even playing tennis right now, so no reason for all this inflammation!! Help!


  • Cheryl

    Your information is very accurate. I am sick and tired of hearing the only way to address Hoshimotos Thyroidism is by taking thyroid hormones. I am seeing a doctor who is treating my leaky gut syndrome, along with the immune system. At first I was uncertain that this would work, of course how can the immune system produce more hormones?? Now I totally understand the protocol for complete wellness.

    I hope in time I will lose the 20 lbs I picked up in a very short period of time.

    If anybody has had success losing weight with this protocol please let me know.

  • la

    just noticing that the innergy biotic drink has soy in it. anyone with a thyroid condition should not eat soy!

  • lydia

    I had my thyroid burned out by nuclear cocktail about 15 yrs back what should my levels be at am 64 yrs I excerise and always watch what I eat.. but Always feel tired and can't seem to lose weight the doctor keeps bringing my synthrod down am on 112 from 175 mg that I started on and was feeling great at the higher levels..

  • bulbul

    There is not much about hyperthyroidism- am on medication but the TSH continues to be too too low - 0.01

    What can people with hyperthyroidism do?

  • Tami Murphy

    I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism at age 30. I am 42 now. My Endo placed me on Synthroid. I have had so many problems. Lip swelling, tongue swelling, and all over my body. Hands,feet,back,stomach..etc. I have hot flashes and weight loss as well as fibrocystic material in my uterus and breast. I had a breast reduction and a hysterectomy. They just increased my dose and ALL my symptoms came back and got much worse. I feel like someone put a big spoon of Icy-Hot on my tongue. I just called my Endo, I better get answers and a solution, or I will go elsewhere. So tired of being miserable. AND I cannot be outside in the sun, I get a rash on my legs, then become very sick and feel like I can't breathe. Passed out a few times from the heat!

  • Suzanne

    Great article--esp. on the link with intestinal health and autoimmune thyroid disease. One note though, and that is that T3 is actually the active thyroid hormone, and your body's ability to convert T4 to T3 is not always reliable. Therefore, it's important to monitor BOTH T3 and T4 and supplement accordingly (e.g., Synthroid is a T4 prescription, while Cytomel is a T3 prescription that doesn't require your body to make the conversion and can be used directly).

  • Jonathan

    This is a great article. I feel for all of you who are suffering from Hashimoto's. If you are interested, I wrote a short book about how to naturally help to heal from Hashimoto's. Here is a link where you can purchase it (it is only $4.99):

  • Sarah

    I was wondering if anyone has experienced insomnia after trying to cut back on gluten and being on thyroid medication at the same time. Could the thyroid begin making its own hormones again, and the combination of that and the medication could make you start showing signs of hyperthyroidism, like insomnia? If this has happened to you, what did you do? If you decided to stop your thyroid medication to see if things improve, how long did it take? I actually stopped my thyroid medication two days ago to see if things calm down any, with the intention of taking it again if needed. I've only slept 2.5 to 3.5 hours the last three nights. :-( I definitely don't want to go back on my old diet as going gluten-free (or even gluten-lite) has improved other issues I was having so much.

  • lahealthyliving

    i wish I had this article handy 6 years ago when i was diagnosed with Hashimoto disease. So I've been taking thyroid pills since then.I was told that once you start taking them, you need to continue for life. I would to hear your opinion on that.

  • Kasual

    I believe that the predominate Thyroid hormone in the body is usually T4 but the most active one is the T3 and that is why it is important to give more T3 if it is low. Being hypothyroid does not mean you have Hashimotos but if you have Hashimotos then you are hypothyroid. If you are hypothyroid then it is vital to find out if it is Hashimotos. Hashimotos is an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid.

    If you eat Gluten the molecular structure of Gluten resembles the thyroid tissue and the body gets confused and attacks the thyroid as well as the Gluten. All grains should be avoided until you find out which ones you are allergic too because they could be in the same family as the Gluten ones. Only 2 antibodies of the gluten ones are measured and you could react to antibodies in other non- gluten grains in the same family that were not included in the test. There is a new test out that measures all the grains to see which one you are not allergic too. Cyrex Lab Array 4- Antibody Gluten Associated Cross Reactive foods and Food Sensitivity.

    IF you have an autoimmune illness than have your gut checked out for leaky gut. Autoimmunity usually means that the bigger proteins are making it through the gut lining and attacking your organs (thyroid, ovaries, pancreas, liver, gallbladder etc) Maybe not all of these but with time it will.

    Good luck to all of us.

  • Martine

    So much info, so little time. It has been a blessing to start Armour 5 months ago. I increased the dosage one month ago. Dr. Christiane Northrup has a good section on hypothyroidism in her revised book on "The Wisdom of Menopause".

  • Liz Moore, CNHP, CNC, ND

    I disagree on adding iodine. I have worked with numerous women and have been able to help their thyroid regulate using: gluten free diet, sugar free diet, iodine, tyrosine and selenium. Plus you must avoid: chlorine, fluoride and bromine as these are antagonistic.

  • karen

    Did Holly F. have any responses to the issue taking thyroid supplements for a long time? Does anyone have recommendations for supplements other than naturethroid, synthroid?
    Thank you!

  • Rocio Packard

    I am very allergic to iodine, I have low thyroid and suspect Hashimottos. I have been gluten free for over 5 years now so my antibodies are low. I know everybody suggest iodine but when I take it I get very sick. i do take Thyrogold- sold by Dr. Lowe. Healing my gut and praying to the Lord for guidance with the rest.

  • Amy

    Really valuable and right on information - in my humble oppinion!

  • annie

    i also disagree about the iodine. unfortunately since bromide was put into bread flours in the 1960s instead of iodine, the numbers of people with thyroid disease has steadily increased.

    i'm german and come from a country that is well known for having iodine deficiency soil. my family has traced their line all the way back to the founding of frankfurt. literally ALL of my female family members have thyroid disease -- most of them had to have their thyroids removed -- so i am pre-disposed already to thyroid disease.

    since i'm allergic to levothyroxine [aka synthroid] AND to nature-throid i'm only using iodine at this point.

    next week i will go back to my naturopath to see what we can do. i will probably start on l-tyrosine next and see if that helps.

    have been on a gluten free diet for over 2 weeks now and i'm actually liking it.

    blessings to all.

  • Suzanne

    I have a goiter ... and now have grown a mass that is connected to it ... some reason after having the goiter for 10 years or more a mass has decided to grow... My hormone levels are normal ... only they can't tell me in the mass will grow more or not ... I do have pain down the left side and my voice is wraspy now ... but I would rather NOT have an operation .... the pain I can deal with .. with no meds ... high pain tolerance... on the list for surgery ... but haven't really decided ... ??

  • MichaelB

    I was reading several sources that mentioned that fluoride from various foods and many tap water supplies will combine with trace levels of aluminum to form a stable water soluble product called aluminum tetrafluoride which has a negative charge or AlF4 - and can act in our pituatary gland and hypothalmus gland and cause higher levels of TSH to be generated as well as disrupt the enzymes (diodinasis) that convert the T4 to T3 so clinically, the T4 will be high but the T3 will be very low which should show clinical hypothyroidism. It's been suggested that from experimental studies in vitro at least, the aluminum fluoride complex can substitute for phosphate and act as a false switching device that act's upon the G protein activator system resulting in false "on" signals to be conveyed to the thyroid tissue. It's also been suggested that people who know that they are ingesting fluoride from various sources, they should take a small maintanence dose of reduced and oxidized forms of iodine such as iodide and elemental iodine respectively to help crowd out and displace the fluoride present in the tissues. Either Lugol's solution or a product called Iodoral has been sited as two possible choices. Would you recommend these products in cases like this?

  • Elin

    Be very careful with iodine, because excessive use of it (non-organic versions in particular) can completely cause Graves disease, complete with the eye disease and goiter. It is an autoimmune trigger in many people.


    I do not agree with the iodine issue. I have HASHI'S and my doc has me on iodine supplements along with my thyroid meds.I take Naturthyroid. I do much better when I take the iodine, than without. The left side of my thyroid is almost gone, it is so small they always have trouble finding it with the ultra sound..and it was that way before I was put on the Iodine...People should read the book written by Dr. David Brownstein,MD.." Iodine Why You Need It, Why You Can't live Without It ". He is a Thryoid expert...

  • Adina

    I have hashimotos and I have been on thyroid meds for 13 years. I recently went on a gluten free diet and i had to slowly lower my thyroid meds and I'm not taking any meds at all anymore. I would highly recommend that anyone with thyroid disease try a completely gluten free diet for at least 2 months to see if they can decrease their meds.

  • Holly F.

    What if my thyroid is already destroyed? I was diagnosed with "low thyroid" age 30 and took Synthroid for 10+ years. Several years ago I switched to a wonderful MD who believes in taking a holistic approach first if possible. He switched me to Naturethroid but noticed my T4 levels would not balance so he sent me to an endocrinologist. I had an ultrasound on my thyroid and the Endo said I had Hashimoto's. I told him I had been tested twice in the last few years for that and test was negative. He said that's because you don't have a thyroid any more and so your body isn't producing antibodies. A healthy thyroid looks like a bunch of grapes and mine looks like the burned out surface of the moon. So I continue to take NatureThroid now, but can diet even help at this point? What do you recommend for people with no thyroid left, as I really can't be "cured."

  • Sandy Halliday

    Great advice Donna. For simple hypothyroid it's a good idea to test for iodine and selenium levels nd never just assume you need these things.

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Information and statements regarding dietary supplements/products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is a result of years of practice and experience by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website.

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